Diversity in Human Resources at L'Oréal A leadership ambition

L’Oréal: A World Leader in Diversity

Beyond its economic success, a company must be accountable and share its achievements. Being the number one cosmetics group on the planet, with sales of 23 billion euros, comes with an obligation : to be a role model for others.  L’Oréal is intent on meeting those expectations. Our ambition is to be an exemplary corporate citizen by setting the standards for gender equality, the inclusion of the disabled and providing opportunities to people of all origins within the 130 countries in which we operate.

When it comes to gender equality, L’Oréal has made decisive inroads since the signing of the Code of Ethics in the year 2000. Today women make up 68% of the global headcount. Normal you might say for a company, which sells beauty products to women. But more importantly women are taking a greater role in the decision-making process.

In 2007, 35 % of women were part of the management committee. By 2014 that number was 47%, a 12% increase. The ambitious goal of parity should be met this year.

In order to get a clear picture of where stand we collaborate with two independent auditing bodies. Within Europe we work with the Gender European Equality Standard (GEES). Outside of the EU we work with EDGE, the Economic Dividend for Gender Equality. Once they have completed their uncompromising reviews, a label of conformity is attributed.  L’Oréal is proud to be the leader in Europe with 24 countries meeting the GEES standard.

Outside of Europe the number of EDGE certifications has been spectacular. Russia, Canada, the United States and the Philippines have set precedents by being the first companies to receive the EDGE label in their respective countries. As for India, not only is L’Oréal the first, but it is the only company in India to receive the EDGE label for “gender equality”

Between GEES and EDGE, it’s more than half of the L’Oreal subsidiaries that have been labelled thus far.

None of this could have been accomplished if at the grassroots level women’s aspirations to combine family and career were not addressed. L’Oréal Mexico has proven to be a fine example by helping mothers assume their families, and at the same time allowing them to advance professionally. Since 2011, the subsidiary has been particularly active in child care. They have now opened four nurseries located near their work sites for convenience. Two kinder-gardens are also available to mothers. To gratify it’s efforts and commitments, L’Oréal Mexico has been awarded the “Equidad de Genero Modelo”, a label for professional equality offered by the Ministry of Women. At L’Oréal, whatever your gender, you have the possibility to exploit your talents to the maximum of your capacities.

Over one billion people in the world live with a disability. They are our customers and must be respected and taken into account. At L’Oréal, we intend to be not only a first choice employer but also the company of choice for consumers.

Human is at the heart of L’Oréals’ corporate culture and we have long been convinced that team diversity is a key to our success. Encouraging employees from a variety of backgrounds and respecting their differences helps to enrich the group. It also allows a better understanding of the diversity of our customers and markets.

L’Oréal is reaching out to disabled people in order to help them enter the workforce. We intend to be leaders in this domain and make l’Oréal a truly inclusive company. The first step is to respect all of the legal obligations in the countries where we operate. Currently, nearly half of the 65 countries in which L’Oréal has offices have established quotas for persons living with a disability and it’s a global trend. Our goal is to respect the local legislation but we want to go beyond. Our internal recommendation is to reach 2% of employees with disabilities in our head count by the end 2016. But this is not enough. We must raise employee awareness of disabilities at all levels and in all of our metiers.



Awareness and Training

No initiative to diversify our company can succeed without the participation of all of our employees. The response that we have provided in order to raise consciousness are the “Disability Awareness Days”.  As of today, eight  countries have already participated and 24 others have confirmed that they are planning actions to further the understanding of disabilities. Alongside this initiative, by the end of the year, 18000 employees worldwide will have been coached since 2006.

Another of our major projects has been the “Disability Initiative Trophies”.

They have been a key step towards getting everybody involved in the L’Oréal disability adventure.  In 2012, we had 14 countries participating and since it has grown to 65 entities. Each have implemented a program to integrate disabled people.

What is most important is that the project be sustainable and relevant to the specific context of the individual country. In Africa, the issue of disability is quite stigmatised. But in Nigeria, inroads are being made thanks to an original initiative,  “Empowering through Hair-awareness”. Over the last two years, 15 people with disabilities have acquired the business skills necessary to run hairdressing salons. It’s a small step, but it shows that size doesn’t matter : it’s the inventiveness that counts.



L'Oréal & ILO

L’Oréal and the ILO Work Hand in Hand

The Business Charter for Disability is the first global charter that promotes the inclusion of people with disabilities in the workforce.

  • It is composed of 10 principles that the undersigned company supports and commits to work towards their company-wide implementation.
  • The principles mainly emphasize the company’s commitment on including persons with disabilities in the company’s internal processes (recruitment, development, accessibility etc.) but also the collaboration with external partners on the advancement of the rights of persons with disabilities (see attached Charter document for all principles).
  • It was created by the members of the Steering committee of the ILO Global Business and Disability Network, a worldwide network to promote disability inclusion in the workplace (see details below).
  • The Charter will be signed by the members of the ILO Business and Disability Network on the 28th of October 2015, asserting a common commitment to create inclusive workplaces for people with disabilities around the world.
  • Since 2013, L’Oréal is member of the ILO Business and Disability Network Steering committee and has supported the creation of the Charter from the beginning.
  • The signature of the Charter formalizes our commitment to collaboratively lead the way on the inclusion of people with disabilities on an international level and serve as a guideline for our internal teams on how to accelerate their efforts on this topic. 
  • The Charter was signed by Jean-Paul Agon, Chairman and CEO of L’Oréal and with Mr. Ryder (ILO General Director) on 28th October 2015.



The ILO and the Business and Disability Network

  • The ILO is the UN agency whose mandate is the promotion of decent work by fostering on the cooperation between governments and employers’ and workers’ organizations.
  • In 2006 the first international Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was adopted by the United Nations and entered into force in 2008.
  • Since then more and more multinational companies are taking notice of people with disabilities and seek to attract them as employers.
  • In response to this need, since 2010, the ILO Global Business and Disability Network is a unique worldwide network of multinational companies, national employers’ organizations, business networks and disabled people’s organizations (DPOs) working in collaboration to promote disability inclusion in the workplace.
  • The Steering Committee is a subset of members and represents the entire membership for purposes of guiding the development of the Network, providing ongoing strategic advice for the initiative, and making recommendations to the ILO in moving activities forward.
  • Since 2013 L’Oréal is part of the Steering Committee together with other Multinational Enterprises (Accor Hotels, Adecco, Carrefour, Casino Group, The Dow Chemical Company, Novartis, Standard Bank), Employers’ Organizations (US Council for International Business), Disabled Person’s Organizations (International Disability Alliance) and the ILO Secretariat.

Past collaborations between L’Oréal and the ILO Disability Network:

Since the beginning of our collaboration with the ILO, we had significant success on the inclusion of disability and we have managed to build a strong and fruitful partnership:

  • The first ILO conference on disability in the Hispanic Zone was hosted by L’Oréal Peru
  • Esteban TROMEL (Senior Disability Specialist at the ILO) was one of the members of the global jury of our “Disability Initiatives Trophies”
  • Sara Park (Technical Officer of the Business & Disability Network at the ILO) helped us to get in contact with disability experts in the Africa/ Middle-East zone to be members of the zone jury of the “Disability Initiatives Trophies”:         Undere DEGLON (Chief Executive Officer Disability Workshop Development Enterprise, Cape Town) and Doha Yahfoufi (National Progam Coordinator Lebanese Physical Handicapped Union)
  • Since the beginning of the partnership, we have shared our good practices on the inclusion of disability during 2 meetings in Geneva

“A diverse workforce in all functions and at all levels enhances our creativity and our understanding of consumers and allows us to develop and market products that are relevant”.




Ethnic and social diversity

Ethnic and Social diversity are essential vectors of development

The quest for new talent across all ethnic and social lines is one of our core values. In a company with the global aspirations of L’Oréal, it is essential that we reflect the societies in which we operate. What you see on the street is what we want to recreate in all of our subsidiaries.That is why we are developing a very dynamic recruitment policy towards people of all origins.

At L’Oréal, we are committed to transforming our Human Resource policies on recruitment to make them as fair as possible. We aim to focus specifically on the processing of job applications in an objective manner. In this way we hope to assure a non-discriminatory selection of career candidates.

Another way to encourage ethnic and social multiplicity is to diversify our recruitment pools We must not consider that all of the talent is to be found in one big city, we have to pursue the most gifted candidates wherever they are.

The inclusion of minorities should not be limited to L’Oréal. We are also looking to create awareness amongst NGOs, other businesses and in the civil services. With our partner the European Network Against Racism, (ENAR), we co-hosted the third conference on origins around the core idea that diverse teams can be more innovative, creative, and thus  more productive.

With regards to the integration of people of diverse origins, we are conscious that progress needs to be made. That is why our priorities in the coming year are to maintain our efforts on disability and gender diversity, and to accelerate our efforts on acquiring talent from different social backgrounds.


Measuring our progress

What Gets Measured Gets Done

L’Oréal has made great strides concerning diversity, but in order to measure progress we need a global view of where we stand within the organisation. That is why we have created a Diversity Dashboard of 30 indicators, which vary from headcount to seniors. We don’t do audits just for the sake of auditing. These are specific and efficient reporting tools which enable us to track diversity within the company and help us to construct the L’Oréal of tomorrow.

Throughout the spectrum of diversity, whether it be in the domain of gender equality, disability, or social and ethnic origins, L’Oréal has taken a forceful and proactive approach to transform ourselves into a truly diversity friendly company. One which is an exemplary corporate citizen and a model for others to follow.